Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Of Daphne by Orontes, and th' inspir'd
Castalian spring, might with this Paradise
Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian isie
Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham,
Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Lybian Jove,
Hid Amalthea and her florid son
Young Bacchus from his stepdame Rhea's eye;
Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard, 28a
Mount Amara, though this by some suppos'd
True Paradise under the Ethiop line
By Nilus' head, inclos’d with shining rock,
A whole day's journey high, but wide remote
From this Assyrian garden, where the Fiend
Saw undelighted all delight, all kind
Of living creatures new to sight and strange.
Two of far nobler shape erect and tall,
Godlike erect, with native honour clad
In naked majesty seem'd lords of all,

290
And worthy seem'd; for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
(Severe but in true filial freedom plac'd)
Whence true authority in men; though both
Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd;
For contemplation he and valour form’d,
For softness she and sweet attractive grace,
He for God only, she for God in him :
His fair large front and eye sublime declar'd , 300
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung

VOL. I.

Clust'ring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She as a veil down to the slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Dishevel'd, but in wanton ringlets wavd
As the vine curls her tendrils, which imply'd
Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best receiv'd,
Yielded with coy submissiɔn, modest pride, 310
And sweet reluctant ainorous delay.
Nor those mysterious parts were then conceald,
Then was not guilty shume, dishonest shame
Of Nature's works, honour dishonourable,
Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind
With shows instead, mere shows of seeining pure,
And banish'd from man's life his happiest life,
Simplicity and spotless innocence !

p. ss'd they naked on, nor shunn'd the sight Of God or Angel, for they thought no ili:

320 So hand in hand they pass'd, the loveliest pair That ever since in love's embraces met; Adam the goodliest man of men since born His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve. Under a tuft of shade that on a green Stood whisp’ring soft, by a fresh fountain side They sat them down: and after no more toil Of their sweet gard’ning labour than suitic'd To recommend cool Zephyr, and mıd: ease More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite More grateful, to their supper fruits they fell, Nectaripe fruits which the compliant bougls

3;

Yielded them, side-long as they sat recline
On the soft downy bank damask'd with flowers :
The savoury puip they chew, and in the rind
Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream;
Nor gentle purpose, nor inclearing smiles
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseems
Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league,
Alone as they. About them frisking play'd 340
All beasts of th' earth, since wild, and of all chase
In wood or wilderness, forest or den;
Sporting the lion ramp'd, and in his paw
Dandied the kit; bears, tigers, ounces, pards,
Gambol'd before them; th' unwieldy elephant
To make them mirth us’d all his might, and

wreath'd
His lithe proboscis; close the serpent sly
Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine
His braided train, and of his fatal guile
Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass 350
Couch'd, and now fill’d with pasture gazing sat,
Or bedward ruminating; for the sun
Declin'd was hasting now with prone career
To th’ ocean isles, and in th' ascending scale
Of Heav'n the stars that usher evening rose :
When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length fail'd speech recover'd sad.

O Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold?
Into our room of bliss thus high advanc'd
Creatures of other mould, earth born perhaps, 360
Nut Spirits, yet to heav'nly Spirits bright

[ocr errors]

More woe,

Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue With wonder, and could love, so lively shines In them divine resemblance, and such grace The hand that form’d them on their shape hath

pour'd. Ah gentle pair, ye little think how nigh Your change approaches, when all these delights Will vanish and deliver ye to woe,

the more your taste is now of joy; Happy, but for so happy ill secur'd

370 Long to continue, and this high seat your Heaven Ill fenc'd for Heav'n to keep out such a foe As now is enter'd; yet no purpos’d foe To you, whom I could pity thus forlorn, Though I unpitied: League with you I seek, And mutual amity so strait, so close, That I with you must dwell, or you with me Henceforth; my dwelling haply may not please, Like this fair Paradise, your sense, yet such Accept your Maker's work; he

gave

it

me, 380 Which I as freely give; Hell shall unfold, To entertain you two, her widest gates, And send forth all her kings; there will be room, Not like these narrow limits, to receive Your numerous offspring; if no better place, Thank him who puts me loath to this revenge On you who wrong me not, for him who wrong’d. And should I at your harmless innocence Melt, as I do, yet public reason just, Honour and en pire with revenge enlarg d, 390

By conqu’ring this new world, compels me row
To do what else though damn'd I should abhor.

So spake the Fiend, and with necessity,
The tyrant's plea, excus’d his devilish deeds.
Then from his lofty stand on that high tree
Down he alights among the sportful herd
Of those four-footed kinds, himself now one,
Now other, as their shape serv'd best his en:
Nearer to view his prey, and unespy'd
To mark what of their state he more might learn
By word or action mark'd : about them round 401
A lion now he stalks with fiery glare ;
Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spy'd
In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play,
Strait couches close, then rising changes oft
His couchant watch, as one who chose his gr wund,
Whence rushing he might surest seize them hoch
Grip'd in each paw : when Adam first of men
To first of women Eve thus moving speech,
Turn'd him all ear to hear new utterance flow. 410

Sole partner, and sole part, of all these joys,
Dearer thyself than all; needs must the Power
That made us, and for us this ample world,
Be infinitely good, and of his good
As liberal and free as infinite;
That rais'd us from tlie dust and plac'd us here
In all this happiness, who at his hand
Have nothing merited, nor can perform
Ought whereof he hath need, he who requires
From us no other service than to keep

426

« AnteriorContinuar »